US Banks React to Fresh Rating Downgrades as Nvidia Earnings Take Center Stage

Metals Exchange Inventories in China Decline: Copper, Aluminium, and Nickel Stocks Fall

US banks fall on fresh rating downgrades, Nvidia earnings in focus 

By Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Analyst | Swissquote Bank  

 

The market mood turned sour again, and the S&P500 fell after a short relief. S&P's bank rating downgrades – which came a few days after Moody's downgraded some US small and mid-sized banks and Fitch downgraded the US' rating, came as a reminder that the rising rates won't be benign for banks as depositors move their funds into higher interest-bearing accounts, increasing banks' funding costs. The decline in bank deposits squeezes liquidity, while the value of securities that they hold in their portfolios decline. Plus, regional banks continue to face the risk of a sharp decline in commercial real estate loans. As a result, the S&P500 fell 0.28% on Tuesday, Invesco's KBW bank ETF dived more than 2.50%.  

 

 

Elsewhere, the rising rates and declining purchasing power finally start showing in some retailers' quarterly announcements. Macy's for example sank 14% yesterday on rising credit card delinquencies and Dick's Sporting Goods slumped more than 24% on 'elevated inventory shrink – in particular theft. Both companies gave a morose outlook for consumer demand moving forward. Could that be a sign of potentially slower consumer spending in the next few months? We will see that. For now, the latest US data remains strong, the Fed expectations are hawkish, no one sees Jerome Powell back off with the Fed's tightening policy, and the US yields are rising. The US 2-year yield pushes higher above the 5% mark, while the 10-year yield struggles near 4.30%, where it sees decent resistance. In one hand, there is a strong demand for US 10-year papers at these levels as many asset managers consider that the levels are good entre points. On the other hand, the hawkish Fed expectations, prospects of – maybe – higher rates, which will be held for a prolonged period of time continue pressuring the yields higher along with the US Treasury's plan to issue more bonds in H2 – as they issued too many T-bills so far to fund their deficit.  

 

 

And there is one more thing weighing on US treasuries and that's China. Yes, the sluggish Chinese growth is tempering energy and commodity prices and doesn't add to inflationary pressures. But Beijing adds on the US Treasury selloff as it fights against a softer yuan. The People's Bank of China (PBoC) set its daily yuan fixing surprisingly higher than expected this week in a move that Bloomberg described as the most forceful on record.  

 

 

When the USD/CNY rallies due to higher US and lower Chinese yields, the Chinese sell their US denominated assets to defend yuan. And doing so, they contribute to the further strengthening of the US yields, and the US dollar is pressured higher on the back of stronger yields. Then, the cycle starts all over again. A stronger dollar, and weaker yuan forces the PBoC to sell USD assets. The UST selloff pushes US yields higher and strengthens the dollar and the yields. 

 

Metals Exchange Inventories in China Decline: Copper, Aluminium, and Nickel Stocks Fall

Ipek Ozkardeskaya

Ipek Ozkardeskaya provides market analysis on FX, leading market indices, individual stocks, oil, commodities, bonds and interest rates.
She has begun her financial career in 2010 in the structured products desk of the Swiss Banque Cantonale Vaudoise. She worked in HSBC Private Bank in Geneva in relation to high and ultra-high net worth clients. In 2012, she started as FX Strategist in Swissquote Bank. She worked as Senior Market Analyst in London Capital Group in London and in Shanghai. She returned to Swissquote Bank as Senior Analyst in 2020.
She is passionate about the interaction between the economy and financial markets. She has been observing and analyzing a wide variety of relationships between the economic fundamentals and market behaviour over the past decade. She has been privileged to live and to work in the world's most exciting financial hubs including Geneva, London and Shanghai.
She has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and a Master's Degree in Financial Engineering and Risk Management from the University of Lausanne (HEC Lausanne), Switzerland.